Monday, July 26, 2010

Avatar Flight

I just saw Avatar. A fantastic movie. Okay, the storyline was older than Hollywood, but the special affects were simply astonishing.

Have any of you seen those stupid Plavix commercials? The ones in which they tell you that their product could cause a heart attack?

We're just a little more than a week away from our next journey to Europe.  It's a rather ambitious trip this time taking in three countries; Germany, Spain and, of course, France.  We will be joined for a short while by one of Robb's lifetime friends, Susan.  She will join us in Germany for a week or so and then another week in Barcelona, where she will stay with us in the apartment we've rented there.  I'm looking forward to the trip, but I'm dreading the first and last flights.  For whatever reason, we've been booked on a flight with American Airlines from Fort Lauderdale airport.  We don't particularly care for American, but c'est la vie.  The real problem is that American doesn't fly directly to Europe from Fort Lauderdale.  We will leave there and first fly to Dallas, Texas, where we will board the plane to Frankfurt.  Stupid way to go to Europe?  You bet.  But that's where we're stuck.  And of course, the reverse on the return flight.  ¡Ay, caramba!! 

Apple’s Antenna Problem Is Different. Apple then posted videos of several smartphones, including the iPhone 4, suffering diminished signal strength when gripped in certain ways. The point of these exercises was to demonstrate that the iPhone 4’s antenna issue is not unique among cellphones. However, it is.... 

The most incredible display of gymnastics I've ever seen

Bones made from wood. 

Scientists taking vitamin D in droves. "Dr. Hollis is so convinced about the possible health benefits that he has been taking 4,000 International Units daily, for years, but recently upped it to 6,000 IU, to raise his blood levels of the nutrient. “I don’t know of anybody who is studying this who isn’t taking” the vitamin in robust amounts, Dr. Hollis says. The quantities Dr. Hollis takes are well above what Health Canada recommends." 

McDonald's Apologizes For Condoms In Happy Meals PROVINCETOWN, Mass. (CAP) - McDonald's executives were left with egg (McMuffin) on their face this week, when over 5,000 Happy Meals were distributed with colored condoms instead of a plastic toy from the movie The Last Airbender. "They were so bright and colorful, they were mistaken for Happy Meal toys," explained McDonald's vice president of public relations Robin Anderson.  But here's the most amazing part of this report: "Unfortunately most of the workers there don't read English, and they thought 'Ribbed Latex' was a character from The Last Airbender." 

Egyptian impact crater first spotted on Google Earth. Researchers poring over Google Earth images have discovered one of Earth’s freshest impact craters — a 45-meter-wide pock in southwestern Egypt that probably was excavated by a fast-moving iron meteorite no more than a few thousand years ago. 

Sex is like your salary..... You don't disclose what you get but you always think that others get more than you...!!!

À la prochaine, mes amis

Monday, July 19, 2010

J'ai Un Sciphone

I bought a new phone. It's an iPhone clone called a Sciphone. I still don't even know how to use all the features. This is the main screen when it's turned on. This is the screen  that comes up when you "Slide to Unlock". There are ten screens in total. Most of them are games (I think) and there is a lot of room for other apps if you want to add them.  I most likely won't add any for a long, long time because A) I don't want to pay to use them and B) I don't know how to use them.

We went to dinner with Dee and Judy at The Manor on Wilton Drive. It used to be several smaller places, but was recently renovated into one large place. Inside, there are two bars and a "restaurant" area. If you like to converse while dining, The Manor is not the place to go. The food wasn't that good either, which is too bad because it's really a neat place. On the other hand, if one is to believe Mark's List the food is quite good, but neither Robb, nor I, was impressed. Maybe we just got them at a bad time. It was quite early for us (17h00), but Judy had to get up very early the next morning.

Dark Matter May Be Building Up Inside the Sun. The sun could be a net for dark matter, a new study suggests. If dark matter happens to take a certain specific form, it could build up in our nearest star and alter how heat moves inside it in a way that would be observable from Earth. 

Carl Sagan: A universe not made for us

Is Gravity Real? A Scientist Takes on Newton. It’s hard to imagine a more fundamental and ubiquitous aspect of life on the Earth than gravity, from the moment you first took a step and fell on your diapered bottom to the slow terminal sagging of flesh and dreams. But what if it’s all an illusion, a sort of cosmic frill, or a side effect of something else going on at deeper levels of reality? 

The incredible shrinking solar cell. The next generation of solar cells will be small. About the size of lint. But the anticipated impact: That’s huge.

Reconstructed: Archimedes's flaming steam cannon. Did the ancient Greek inventor Archimedes build a solar-powered steam cannon that fired flaming projectiles? That's the suggestion of an Italian engineer who has come up with a design for such a weapon. 

The best marimba player I've ever seen. 

Flying Car a Step Closer to Reality

Truth Wins Out exposes creepy practices of 'ex-gay' therapist. Another "ex-gay" fraud is exposed by Truth Wins Out. And, this one is really disturbing and creepy: Truth Wins Out (TWO) released an exclusive video statement today from two former clients of “ex-gay” life coach Alan Downing. 

À la prochaine, mes amis

Monday, July 12, 2010


America's Deadliest Sweetener Betrays Millions, Then Hoodwinks You With Name Change. Aspartame is the most controversial food additive in history, and its approval for use in food was the most contested in FDA history. In the end, the artificial sweetener was approved, not on scientific grounds, but rather because of strong political and financial pressure. After all, aspartame was previously listed by the Pentagon as a biochemical warfare agent! 

Might We Do as the Romans Do? Three years ago, the Italian energy giant Eni began what is now a summer tradition: from June 1 to Sept. 1, the company sets the thermostat in its corporate office buildings 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than it had in summers before 2007. It also allows employees to “take off their ties” – that is, wear lighter, more casual clothes to work. Don’t misunderstand: Eni uses air-conditioning, and the offices are more than comfortable. It simply allows the temperature to creep up a tiny bit; most workers wouldn’t even notice. 

“Steamy” French commercial. 

Here's bad news for those of us who love Paris. Paris Aims to Curb Apartment Rentals to Tourists. 

French civil servant lifts lid on five-hours-a-week culture. A French civil servant who lifted the lid on the wastefulness of the country's state sector in a book describing a "five-hours-a-week" culture where people competed to take the longest coffee breaks has been suspended. 

Humungous bubbles blown from small black hole. A relatively small black hole has been spotted blowing bubbles with diameters of more than 300-1500 light years. 

Republicans more likely to be involved in (gay) sex scandals.


À la prochaine, mes amis

Monday, July 05, 2010

Islam Closet

The holiday (4th of July) wasn't so great in Fort Lauderdale. It rained all day. There was supposed to be a barbeque-get-together at the condo between 4 and 6, but the rain cancelled that. All the rain didn't have much effect on the bazillions of people who were shooting off fireworks. It sounded like we were in the midst of a war zone. The air was so full of smoke, it was difficult to both breathe and see. We had planned to go out to eat, but every place we called, was closed. I guess they didn't think they could compete with all the barbequers. We did run out to the market to get a few things, where we chatted for a couple of minutes with a very cute, very drunk young guy.
What Jefferson was thinking. Analysis reveals a last-minute revision to the Declaration of Independence.
Islamic science: The revival begins here. Today the Royal Society will publish the first report based on its Atlas of Islamic-World Science and Innovation Project. The reason we have chosen to undertake this project is the potentially staggering impact that countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others could have on science in the coming decades.
Sea Ice News. We have been hearing a lot about how the decline in Arctic ice is following the “steepest slope ever.” The point is largely meaningless, but we can have some fun with it. The Bremen Arctic/Antarctic maps are superimposed above, showing that ice in the Antarctic is at a record high and growing at the “steepest slope ever.” You will also note that most of the world’s sea ice is located in the Antarctic. But those are inconvenient truths when trying to frighten people into believing that “the polar ice caps are melting.”
"Can You Guess Who Lives in This House? Maybe your mind is going towards a Saudi Prince? or Queen of England? or a Billionaire? Well, see all pictures of this one of luxurious houses of the world and at the end of the post you will find the answer that who is living in this home."
74-MPG City Car Makes a Smart Look Big. As the man behind some of the most successful McLaren Formula 1 cars and the incomparable McLaren F1 supercar, Gordon Murray has designed some of the fastest cars ever. Now he’s building one of the smallest. And most radical.
The British engineer finally unveiled his T.25 City Car, the Lilliputian runabout he’s spent three years developing. Although the 74-mpg T.25 and its T.27 electric sibling recall the microcars of post-war Europe, it’s quite advanced. Beyond using a tubular steel frame, composite materials and a canopy that opens like a Lamborghini’s doors, the T.25 will use a manufacturing process said to tremendously reduce capital, space and materials.
Top 20 Countries With Best Quality of Life. Notice that 13 of them are in Europe, and I didn't even include Norway or Sweden.
It's the season of rice paddy art in Japan and Pink Tentacle has collected some exquisite examples! The massive artworks are grown through the strategic arrangement of rice plants of varying hues.
Things they wish they hadn't said: "With over 50 foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn't likely to carve out a big slice of the U.S. market." -- Business Week, August 2, 1968.
À la prochaine, mes amis